Thursday, April 19, 2012

U.S. Reportedly Backs Spain in YPF Controversy

On Wednesday we looked at the reactions of several leaders from the Americas and Europe to Argentina’s planned expropriation of energy firm YPF. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted on Tuesday that “having an open market is a preferable model” though she did not take sides. Over the past 24 hours, however, that stance has reportedly changed.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo claimed that his country along with the U.S. “will explore all ways in which we can cooperate to restore international legality.”

In remarks to the press after meeting with Clinton in Brussels, Garcia-Margallo said “all legal and opportune measures” are on the table for both countries to consider. That might include actions via bodies such as “the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G-20, the Paris Club (of creditor countries) and any other institution where we can force action” against Argentina.

Though Clinton has yet to make a public pronouncement today over the YPF issue, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday “frankly, the more we look at this we view it as a negative development.

In other news related to the possible nationalization of YPF:

  • Spanish officials continue to increase international pressure against Argentina and this might include a boycott of Argentine beef and soy. This has generated some opposition from Spanish agrarian groups like the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers that issued a statement decrying the “very negative effects” of a possible boycott.
  • YPF’s stocks have rebounded in trading today in Buenos Aires by 3.8%. This comes after the company’s stock plummeted on Wednesday by almost 33% in New York and nearly 29% in Argentina.
  • Did the news of the YPF takeover by Argentina ruin rumored plans by Spain to sell their majority share of the firm to China?
  • According to ruling party Senator Anibal Fernandez the Argentine government will expand the expropriation to include both the oil and natural gas components of YPF.
  • Lastly, Spanish state-owned network TVE preempted an upcoming episode of the “Spaniards Around the World” travelogue series that was going to focus on the Patagonia region. A repeated episode on Prague will be shown instead.
Video Source – YouTube via Libertad Digital TV

Online Sources – La Tercera, The Latin Americanist,, MercoPress, Fox Business, Bloomberg, Reuters, Europa Press,

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